This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The most convenient way of disposing of the cuttings is to dibble them into shallow pans filled with wet silver sand, as fast as they are prepared. The best way for those who may have to leave the cuttings in the pans for any time after they have formed roots, is to prepare the pans with crocks for drainage, and over the crocks to spread an inch of chopped moss or peat torn up into small shreds, or cocoa-nut fiber dust, and then fill up to the brim with clean silver sand. The sand should be quite wet when the cuttings are inserted; and when they have been regularly dibbled in with the aid of a bit of stick, or with the fingers only, it should be placed where there is a bottom-heat of 60° to 70°. A temperature of 80° is allowable when time is an object, but at 60o better plants may be grown; in fact, there is generally too much heat used. From the time of putting the cuttings in heat till they begin to grow, the temperature must be steady, and there must be regular supplies of water. But water given carelessly will surely entail losses. Probably the sand will retain sufficient moisture for eight or ten days without needing to be wetted beyond what reaches it in the process of dewing the leaves. To dew the leaves neatly and timely is one of the most important matters.
For the amateur, to whom a few minutes is no object, the best way is to dip a hard brush in water, then hold the brush beside the cuttings, and draw the hand briskly over it. This causes a fine spray to be deposited on the leaves, to prevent flagging; but if the water is given from the rose of a watering-pot, the cuttings, if small, may be washed out of their places, or may be made too wet.